RETURN – תּשׁוּבָה – Teshuvah
If you find yourself at this time of year connecting in any way with the Jewish community you might come across the word, תּשׁוּבָה – Teshuvah. We spend the first ten days of our New Year – and technically the last month of the previous year – on this תּשׁוּבָה – Teshuvah thing. Most commonly translated as ‘repentance’, an aspect of תּשׁוּבָה – Teshuvah is realizing our mistakes, asking to be forgiven for them and offering forgiveness to those whose mistakes have hurt us. While any one of those things may be no easy task, it only scratches the surface of where תּשׁוּבָה – Teshuvah truly points us.
The Hebrew letters that make the SH and the U and the V in the word are all about turning. Turning behind us. Turning around. Turning upside down and inside out. Turning within. Re-Turning. We turn to get a different view of something. We turn to make sure our attention is evenly spread out. We must re-turn to eventually get back to our beginnings, our origins , our essence.
At the root of realizing our shortcomings, at the heart of yearning to be better, at the core of forgiving another as they walk that same path … is the idea that we have something at our root, heart and core that is worthy, wise and wondrous. It is to this center, this origin that we seek RETURN – תּשׁוּבָה – Teshuvah.
No matter what it looks like — with us at Micah, with another community, in self-crafted moments or some combination of these – I pray that the call of our tradition this time of year reaches out to you … that it taps you on the shoulder and you respond with a turn … and in that moment you get a dazzling glimpse of your essence, spirit and divinity. May what you see, hear and experience inspire you towards a joyous and meaningful 5783.